_____ Mt.

____ Mt. [blank mount] inhabits and writes through an iconic poem of British Romanticism, Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Mont Blanc” (1816).  A work of ecopoetics and creative translation, ____ Mt. [blank mount] harnesses “Mont Blanc” to explore the ecological, aesthetic, philosophical, and technological crossroads of the 21st century, as well as the paths — factual and counterfactual — along which we got here.

In striking affinity with our contemporary concerns, Shelley’s ode expresses anxiety about glaciers, environmental extremity, and nature’s unmasterability. ____ Mt. [blank mount] uses the poem’s insights and inter-texts (such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), historical context, and history of critical reception as compositional resources to rewrite and amplify “Mont Blanc.”  While it focuses on reimagining criticism through intimate entanglements with a potent primary text, it also makes “Mont Blanc” a springboard for a speculative poetic-critical practice that addresses future histories and past futures converging at the Anthropocene “now” of ecological crisis.  Honing in on the mountain Mont Blanc itself as a magnet of centuries of different forms of attention and imagination, ____ Mt. [blank mount] frames those gazes in strange, new generic-analytic containers.  Informed by play, this poetics of inquiry also seeks to work through what it might mean to mourn Earth.


polycrystalline structure of polar ice
snow compaction versus water freezing
fog-event: hoar layer condenses on snow-surface
or: rounded snow grains tightly packed by wind
air inclusion, atmosphere trapped
age scale of air in summit ice
grain boundaries in deep ice, ice
grain size increases with depth
water veins along junctions in ice grain
mobile water isotopes, gas exchange
of air enclosures with surrounding ice
accumulation and diffusion
trapped gases along vertical axis
permeation coefficients of air constituents
gas concentration in dynamic disequilibrium
parameters for permeation, total air
slow set: melt-rate expressed
in ice equivalent of constant density
boundary conditions for old ice
layers thin when ice is compressed
ice particle travels: vertical ice velocity
geothermal heat flux
heat diffusion and advection,
diffuse upwards by thermal conduction
disturbed ice: irregular flow below a certain depth
ice has undergone substantial deformation
load pressure: bottom ice at pressure melting point
near bedrock, high ice temps: gas in warm ice vanishing
melt-water percolation, refreezing
air fractionation: diffusive smoothing
from one air inclusion to another
polydispersed bubble ensemble
free gas phase in the bubble
bubbles get smaller
no bubbles smaller than
radius of an air inclusion
nucleation of air: clathrate-hydrates
in ice sheets: air bubble-to-hydrate
transformation rate
probability of bubbles to nucleate
surface disordering affects kinetics of clathration
global bubble-to-hydrate transformation
conversion of single air bubbles post-nucleation
ensembles of bubbles and hydrate crystals
in polar ice phase change in air-ice system
gas-mass balance and flux
at pore close-off, transform in deeper ice layers
metastable lattice of water,
guest gas molecules fill crystal lattice cages
paleoclimate indicators
diffusive losses of air bubble mass
based on scatter, gases trap
infra-red radiation
controlled nucleation
bubbly ice: bubble number fraction
curvature of bubble wall
chemical potential

particulate mineral dust aerosol
bipolar marine carbon seesaw
thermohaline pattern
of surface and deep ocean currents
slowdown in ocean circulation
gas oceans store
cold holds more than warm
ice retreating triggers release
ice core gases leak

from Appendix :: Albedo [Tom Sawyer] [Chemtrails]


I saw only what I deemed to be colossal white clouds covering half the sky—but after a long and steady gaze, I think of full half an hour we found those tremendous masses of white clouds to be really the snowy Alps. Yes they were really the Alps! […] We were so happy—Shelley in an ecstacy and declared how great was his joy—How great is my rapture he said, I a fiery man with my heart full of Youth, and with my Beloved at my side, I behold those lordly immesurable Alps—They look like a second world gleaming on one, they look like dreams more than realities, they are so pure and heavenly white.

–Clair Clairmont, journal (August 14-22, 1814)

A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were red, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them white. Alice thought this a very curious thing, she heard one of them say, “Look out now, Five! Don’t go splashing paint over me like that!”

Seven flung down his brush, when his eye chanced to fall upon Alice. “Would you tell me,” said Alice, “why you are painting those roses?” “Cold generates cold” “That when sunlight is reflected off a white or light-colored surface” “affects the equilibrium temperature of the Earth”

albedo, or reflection coefficient, derived from Latin albedo “whiteness” (or reflected sunlight), from albus “white”

a non-dimensional, unitless quantity: how well a surface reflects solar energy

whiteness of a surface

1 = white; surface is a “perfect reflector”
0 = black; surface is a “perfect absorber”

A large mountain stood in Peru. It was dark brown, but there were three men busily painting it white. Alice thought this a very curious thing, the Cordillera Blanca or White Mountains. She heard one of them say, “When I was a little boy, the mountaintops were white with snow and ice. But as you can see, they now look black.”

Slowly but surely an extinct glacier in a remote corner of the Peruvian Andes is being returned to its former color. Alice thought this a very curious thing, she heard one of them say, “Look out now, Five! Don’t go splashing paint over me like that!” There are no paintbrushes, the workers use jugs to splash the whitewash onto loose rocks around the summit. “To generate a micro-climate around the peak”

A large mountain stood in Peru. It was dark brown, but there were three men busily painting it white. Ice is already beginning to form.

How To Paint Mountain Glaciers With Acrylic On Canvas Speed Video Lesson Art Class
Glacier – Landscape, Photoshop speed painting • 2,746 views‬

Ice now forms on the painted rocks overnight, although it has melted by 10:30am.

The phrase “with the eye of an artist” shows that Tom had treated—or at least had pretended to treat—painting the fence like an artistic undertaking.

“Does a boy get to whitewash a fence every day?” expresses an obvious truth in a rhetorical form. But that is not its meaning.

A large mountain stood in Peru. It was dark brown: 1,600 years of ice has melted in 30 years. There were three men busily painting it white. “Leave off that!” screamed the Queen. “What have you been doing here?” The glacier melts so quickly, Thompson tells The Daily Mail, he has had to archive some of the ice.

Monthly Weather Review (July 1901): “Colored Snow”: “A correspondent in Pawpaw Mich., asks: Has any one ever investigated the cause of colored snow? […] Three years ago a very pronounced black snowfall occurred. I melted a quantity of the snow; the residue was in scaly particles, and, so far as my amateur investigation could determine, it was entirely metallic. I have some of the material from last Saturday’s snowfall. It is brown instead of black, but is not yet entirely dry. It has the appearance of being vegetable matter, although the day was so calm that my windmill did not run. We used to call it prairie dust, swept off the western plains, but I am inclined to the belief that it is meteoric—star dust, if you please.”

A large mountain stood in Peru. It was dark brown, but there were three men busily painting it white. To coat / a mountain / summit in / white paint. “Leave off that!” screamed the Queen. “What have you been doing here?” “May it please your Majesty” “we were trying—“ “I see,” said the Queen. “Off with their heads!” The ice cap is smaller than it has been for six thousand years.